DO Day on the Hill: Advocating Health
Jan 1, 2012 1:00 AMLast month, nearly 1,000 D.O.s and osteopathic medical students gathered in Washington, D.C., for “D.O. Day on Capitol Hill” - the largest osteopathic advocacy event of the year. MSUCOM participants traveled to Capitol Hill for a series of meetings with members of Congress, covering topics such as expanding the physician workforce, ensuring adequate funding for graduate medical education, and reforming the professional liability insurance market.
A dozen MSUCOM students took their advocacy a step further. Working with their mentor, Associate Dean Margaret Aguwa, the team organized three health fairs and nutritional programs for people living in area homeless shelters.
“When I was an undergraduate, I participated in an alternative Spring Break program where we traveled to Washington D.C. to help the homeless,” said First-year student Tiffany Chritz, “When I heard we’d be traveling there to advocate for health care, I wanted to also give my peers the opportunity to see another side of city and help some people in the process.”
To squeeze all their plans into one trip, the students arrived several days early to the Capitol and stayed in town after the event to conduct their last health fair.
“The most memorable part for me was our nutritional program,” said Tiffany. “The participants were so engaged in the discussion and asking all sorts of good questions like ‘how do I eat better given that I get all my food from the cafeteria here’ or ‘how do I get more exercise given my circumstances’. You could tell they were really thinking about this information and how it can apply to them. I’m we did this. It’s a good reminder that no matter where you travel, there’s an opportunity to help.”